tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC July 22, 2012 9:00am-11:00am PDT
good day everyone. welcome to weekends with alex witt. a tragedy on the scale of colorado takes days and weeks, even months, to thin from a nation's bloodstream. for those with a direct connection to the killings, it takes forever. if a measure of relief can be gained, those still early in the process, perhaps we might see that in a matter of hours when president obama arrives in the city to share the country's grief and console his fellow citizens later today. that will play out and we will, of course, bring it to you. that is just one story line
on a day we have learned new and critical details on what happened just after midnight on a friday in a crowded theater in a suburban american city. within the hour, we heard from the aurora police chief and he described how his officers identified james holmes as the suspect and not a s.w.a.t. officer despite all of his ballistic gear. >> there was one particular piece of equipment that he had on him that was out of place. i am so proud of my officers that they spotted that right away and chal llenged him. in that chaos, it is quite reasonable that an officer might have confused him for a s.w.a.t. officer or a heavily armed officer responding to the scene. so kudos to my two cops who grabbed this guy and that sharp observation that they made immediately that led them to suspect him as being a suspect. >> there is more we are learning about the 24-year-old suspected of mass murder. he will appear in court tomorrow morning for the first time and the sheriff says holmes is
isolated from other inmates. reports suggest he is now also refusing to talk with police. as for his boobytraped apartment, the fbi detonated explosives they collected there in a remote, desert area. they will analyze the remnants at fbi headquarters. officials say the threat at that apartment is significantly reduced but not eliminated. today, the fbi crews remain on the scene hunting for more evidence. we are learning more about the victims and the loved ones they left behind. a memorial and prayer vigil will be held for those victims outside of aurora city hall tonight. nbc's chris jansing is live near the theater there in aurora. good day to you, chris. tell me what is the latest from there on this sad sunday. >> reporter: good morning, alex. this is a day to remember the victims, the 12 who died, the 58 who were injured, their families and a community that is still grieving. we learned from the mayor as he went from hospital to hospital,
looking and meeting with the victims, he has also told us that among those who are critically injured, some still have life -threatening injuries. we are also learning about the gunman inside that theater. we heard from the governor late yesterday that it could have been worse. perhaps we know why. the "associated press" reporting and we have not been able to independently confirm this, that the semi-automatic looifl he was carrying may have jammed early on. this is capable of holding 100 magazine clips, 50 to 60 rounds per minute. if it jammed, it could have meant fewer people died in the theater behind me. let's talk about those victims, because we now do have the names of all 12 remarkable stories of heroism. they range from 6 to 51. starting with 6-year-old veronica moser. four days ago, she was bragging about how she was learning to swim. her mother, who was critically wounded and still has, we are
told, a bullet lodged in her neck, has now been informed that her little girl has died in this shooting. 24-year-old alex teves just earned his master's degree in counseling at the university of denver, also 24 years old, jessica ghawi, who grew up in texas, loved hockey, she was an aspiring sportscaster. alex sullivan, 27 years old, there celebrating his birthday with friends, his co-workers. today would have been his first wedding anniversary. matt mcquinn, also 27, died saving his girlfriend, diving on top of her. sam anna that yoter was shot in the knee but will recover. micayla medek had a facebook page filled with humor and liked to call herself a sandwich artist working at subway. 26-year-old jonathan blunk saved
his girlfriend. a navy veteran, two children. 18-year-old a.j.boik, a local student at gateway high school. petty officer third class, john larimer, 27. he joined the navy just last year e is being mourned by his parents and four siblings. 32-year-old rebecca wingo was a single mom of two daughters, going to the local community college hoping to build a better life for them and in the meantime was working at a local restaurant. gordon cowden had taken his two teenage daughters to see the new batman movie. he died, 51 years old. and 29-year-old jesse childress, an airman, an athlete, a denver broncos season-ticket holder, he too died shielding a friend that also worked at buckley. today, there are so many questions being asked here about how this could have happened. but when you talk to the members
of this community, they are determined to move forward, alex and they are determined that the names, the faces of the victims and what was truly lost here does not get pushed aside as we talk about the gunman. alex? >> chris, the question that remains on everyone's minds, do we know anything about a possible motive? >> he is not talking. as far as we know, the last thing he said to police was to tell them to go to his apartment, that was boobytraped. he does have a lawyer but is segregated from the general population. we will see him for the first time tomorrow in court. there has been a lot of speculation. this was not someone that we have seen in past shootings, who a lot of people have come forward to say, it was clear there was something wrong. it was clear he was mentally ill. he was quiet and also very intelligent. everyone that knew him on any level, through high school, undergraduate and graduate school, thought he was very
smart. the one thing in talking to a number of psychologists and criminologists over the last couple of days, they are looking at the timeline. it seems at the point when he was having difficulty in graduate school and it was clear he was going to have to drop out. that's when we are starting to see the evidence of his putting together this plan of ordering 6,000 rounds of ammunition and getting these multiple deliveries to his home and to his school. if there is some connection about his inability to cope with graduate school, that may have been a trigger. right now, alex, we just don't know. it is all speculation. >> thanks so much for the live report. chris will continue our special coverage, anchoring from aurora later today beginning at 3:00 eastern. let's go to the apartment where the investigation moves forward. now, the police have access to collect evidence. yesterday, in the city outskirts, experts detonated explosives from the apartment but the threat of deadly weapons
outraged the aurora police chief. >> make no mistake about it, what was going on there, if you think we are angry, with he sure as hell are angry. what has happened to our city, what has happened to these wonderful people who live here and also what he threatened to do to one of our police officers. >> nbc's kristin dahlgren is live outside the apartment building. what's the latest from there? what's going on? any activity? >> reporter: hi, there, alex. as you can see here behind me, the apartment here remains roped off at this point. they have opened up the four other apartment buildings in the area that were evacuated. we have seen residents from those apartments returning saying, thank god this is now over for us and they are able to get back into their homes. as far as the investigation, we haven't seen anyone entering the apartment today. yesterday, a lot of activity. you talked about how they disarm what they are calling a network of bombs, a sophisticated network of bombs inside. they were able to detonate one
here. some of the other materials they collected, they left in a caravan and took it and buried it miles from here and set off their own explosives for those. they are saving the remnants now as part of the investigation. according to the fbi, inside the apartment they found a waist-high trip wire at the front door, 30 improvised grenades, a control box in the kitchen and also three jugs of improvised n improvise napaum inside. here is what the local police chief had so say. is. >> make no mistake, this apartment was designed based on everything i have seen to kill whoever entered it. who was most likely to enter that location after he planned and executed this horrific crime? it was going to be a police officer. >> reporter: as we have been talking about, holmes faces his first court appearance tomorrow. as far as other evidence collected here last night, the
fbi also left with a lab top and a hard drive. back to you. >> kristin dahlgren, many thanks for that. as kristin was just saying, he will be in court tomorrow. for more on the legal process ahead, i'm joined by former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, sima are. what do you expect to happen tomorrow? >> tomorrow is the initial advise many. bail is not an issue, because he has been remanded because of so many homicides involved. at this point, there is a difference between when police brings charges and the d.a. decides what charges are going to be indicted. this is the time when mr. holmes is going to be advised of his constitutional rights. >> so we have 12 killed, 58 injured. when you talk about the charges, the difference between police and what the d.a. brings, how do they decide that and what do you expect to see? >> the d.a. is going to look at different counts of murder and decide what can i prove?
what i suspect is that there are going to be several counts of murder in the first degree in terms of premeditation. then, we have to address the question, will the capital punishment issue be addressed? >> because colorado has it. it cob a death penalty case. >> i suspect it will be. let's not kid ourselves, alex. in the united states history this is perhaps the worst shooting event. it will be a death penalty case. the other issue is also under a reckless theory. this guy goes into a movie theater and there is this element of recklessness, this depraved indifference. so what i think, there are going to be charges for reckless murder. >> when you talk about depraved indifference, i guess you have to talk about whether he has the competency to first stand trial and then whether or not the insanity defense is appropriate. there is a distinction there between the two. >> you always impress me. you just brought that up.
it is very new onsed because the general public, they hear competency and they think insanity. you are right. it is different. the first thing we do is ask the judge for a competency evaluation. that's tonal see whether the client understands the charges against him. do i know why i am here? are you the judge? what's going on? who is this attorney standing next to me? that's understanding the charges. now, you have to bring the client to be fit to sit at trial and at that point, you use it as a defense, insanity. whether the person knew the difference between right and wrong. >> there is insanity and the temporary insanity. are those two the same in a court of law or are they different? >> another great question. temporary insanity and insanity are usually the same thing. it is the same thing, because what you are trying to say, it
is okay if you are fit now. it is okay if you are completely competent now but at the time of the incident, were you unders a psychosis? >> did you just lose it? >> that prevented you from knowing right and wrong. what's important here, this person had a meticulous plan for two months, shopping and buying weapons, building an arsenal. this is the misconception about mental illness in this country and in the criminal justice system. that is, you can be under a delusion or involved in hal loous l hallucinations or a psychosis for two months or six months. he could have been going through this prolongeded episode. when you are in that episode, you are thinking i'm just doing my thing. i am under this -- >> it is something that lawyers
and psychiatrists will all be examining. we thank you for you looking at all this for us right now seema ayer. mysteries surrounding the whereabouts of michael jackson's mother mitt romney and his upcoming trip to the middle east, will it have the same impact as then candidate obama's trip to berlin. how will they compare? i wiped the floor with the guy! not really. i would've been fine with 0% for 36 months, but i demanded 60. no...i didn't do that. it was like taking candy from a baby. you're a grown man. alright, see you at home. [ male announcer ] the volkswagen autobahn for all event. we good? we're good. [ male announcer ] at 0% apr for 60 months, no one needs to know how easy it was to get your new volkswagen. that's the power of german engineering. legalzoom has an easy d affordable option. you t quality services on your terms, with total cusmer support, backed by a 100% satisfactioguarantee. so go to legalzoom.com today and see for yourself.
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support both democrats and republicans. we extend bipartisan hospitality to both democrats and republicans. >> before governor romney goes overseas, he and president obama will be taking their campaigns out to the west coast on swings there this week. the president heads to san francisco this ink followed by stops in reno, nevada, oakland, california, and portland, oregon. mitt romney follows tuesday with stops in reno and irvine, california. >> meanwhile, the senate race is heating up in virginia with dem democrat tim kaine and republican george allen sparring in a debate that became personal. they took on defense spending, the bush tax cuts and abortion. >> politically speaking at least for one more day, it will be difficult to look at anything except through the prism of the colorado shootings. tomorrow may be change at the start of another week of campaigning. joining me now for perspective, john harwood and from pbs news hour, christina belantoni.
john, the president will be in colorado today to meet with the grieving families. it is not a role any president relishes, the consoler and chief. president obama seems to understand the importance of it. it does help not just victims' families but the country, no? >> no question about it. a lot of the role of the presidency is to serve as the symbolic leader of the nation in terms of governor and moments like this where you try to strike a tone appropriate to the moment. we have seen presidents in the past, george w. bush after 9/11. bill clinton after the oklahoma city bombing do that very effectively and president obama will try to do that again today as he did after gabby giffords was shot more than a year ago. >> i also remember president reagan doing that after the shuttle explosion. these things are indelibly etched into your mind. christina, both the president
and mr. romney do have events tomorrow. neither will likely talk gun control any time soon. could or would either candidate bringing it up be possible down the road? >> nothing is impossible. it is unlikely. it is not a debate that these two guys want to have. you have mayor michael bloomberg calling on each of them to resurge on this issue. it is politically difficult for both parties to tackle this. it is something i wouldn't be surprised if congress takes up. there are advocates that have fierce opinions on both sides. even if the debate doesn't change and people feel very entrenched on either side, people want to talk about it. it gives people who have been pushing for renewed assault weapons ban and new ammunition, so to speak, to push this again. the president and mitt romney will have to address it but are either of them going to want to talk about it? of course not. >> christina makes a point there. why isn't this exactly the right time to talk about gun control?
to shows who are supporters, couldn't one presidential candidate seize the initiative there? >> this theory, they could. here is the starting point for the do ebate as christina suggested. it is highly unlikely any legislation could get through this very divided congress at the moment. in that surkcircumstances, a candidate has to consider what are the gains and losses for this issue. for mitt romney, he has a republican base that has been distrust fu distrustful, if he started taking this up, it could have a negative effect on the republican base. from president obama's point of view, democrats have shied away from this issue ever since president clinton passed the assault weapons ban in 1944. democrats have not been able to implement that again. for president obama, he has to make the calculation. he did make a calculation on gay marriage, to go in a place we
didn't expect him to go. it is not out of the question that he could rhetorically take up this standard. he has to worry about his margins among white working class voters and some rural voters where he needs to, even though he is not going to carry those voters, he needs not to get blown out on them. christina draws up gay marriage and immigration. the president has taken stands on both recently. does the issue of either provide any potential leverage against mitt romney for him. >> on gay marriage and immigration, absolutely. it is all about turning out the democratic base. it also is important to point out, colorado is a battleground state. it is a battleground state in the west which has a lot of different views about guns and hunting and land rights and all of those things in some other parts of the country, particularly the northeast. the president is sensitive of that. he will be taking cues from the democratic governor. he was on "meet the press" earlier and asked a question
about gun control by david gregory. he didn't answer it. if the governor of the state is not calling for changes, it is unlikely the president is going to step on that particularly at a time of national crisis. >> i mentioned the plan this week, one more item with mitt romney going overseas to meet with the prime minister, ministers from the u.k., palestine as well. four years ago, then candidate obama, you arer in berlin, that thundering welcome there, rock star status. how do you think mitt romney is going to compare? >> well, mitt romney does not have a rock star aura the same way barack obama had four years ago. he has a narrow purpose and a broader purpose. the narrow purpose is to appeal to jewish voters. he is going to israel and meeting with prime minister netanyahu and going to poland, a symbolically important country. the larger purpose for mitt romney is to try to lend some aura, some petina of
international statesmanship, a form man policy acumen, which he doesn't have as a former governor, going to the olympics presents a unifying message. i am not sure it is going to have the same impact as barack obama did four years ago but is probably a smart thing for mitt romney to do. >> i have got no more time but looking at barack obama four years ago, no gray in his hair. it is a tough job these last four years, no doubt. thank you so much, john, christina, good to see you. >> thanks, alex. two big developments on the campus of penn state. what they mean for the future of the school and the legacy of joe paterno. and every footstep should tell us we made the right decision. so when we can feel our way through the newest, softest, and most colorful options... ... across every possible price range... ...our budgets won't be picking the style. we will. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. get 10% off or up to 24 months special financing on carpet purchases with your home depot credit card.
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fighting is escalating in syria's war. as army tanks roll through, they are mounting an offensive operation to liberate the country's biggest city. in the capital of damascus as well. they have been fighting to retake captured neighborhoods. there is new hope for two iowa cousins that vanished last week. they have evidence that 8-year-old elizabeth collins and ten-year-old lyric cook-morrissey were abducted but not killed. friends and neighbors of the two missing girls held a walk and ride bike event in waterloo, iowa, yesterday. they were calling for them to be brought home safely. two big developments in the fallout from the penn state sex abuse scandal. penn state today has removed the famous statue of the late football coach, joe paterno. it happened this morning when construction crews moved in
early to erect a fence and conceal the statue with a blue tarp. they used a forklift to take that massive statue down. it will be put in storage. it was built in 2001 in honor paterno's record-setting football victories. his legacy may be further tarnished tomorrow whether they announce corrective and punitive sanctions against the school because of the allegations that officials concealed the abuse of young boys by former assistant coach, jerry sandusky. the materials taken from the boobytra boobytrapped apartment of james holmes. >> they had sparkle of love in their eyes. >> we are learning more about those who were killed and those fortunate enough to escape. ok! who gets occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas or bloating?
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their forensic investigate. defense attorneys are expected to have access to the theater tomorrow. meanwhile, officials removed hazardous and explosive materials from james holmes' boobytrapped apartment and defused them with controlled. here are the latest numbers we have from officials on the injured. out of the total 58 people hurt, 24 remain in the hospital, 9 of them are in critical condition. friday, shooting rampage is also getting a new angry and emotional response from colorado's governor. this morning, on "meet the press," john hickenlooper expressed fury and frustration at the massacre. >> he was diabolical. i think of him as almost a terrorist. he wanted to take away not just from the people but from the country, our ability to enjoy life and go to a movie theater,
which, for most of us is a re refuge where we can get away from some of the pressures of life. it is a human issue. how are with he not able to identify someone like this who is so deeply, deeply disturbed. >> for the longest time, we have been concerned about the incident just happened, that single individual that operates below the radar, most to detect, whether inspired by terrorism or whatever inspiration caused this young man to take so many lives. it remains the most difficult one to try and deal with. >> when bill talks about the lone gunman, he is absolutely right. there is one thing that they all had in common, they had a gun with large magazines. so they could take down as many people. the police responded in 90 seconds and yet he was able to take down 70 people.
>> today, the families of those killed are trying to cope with the pain of their lost. some of those wounded are in the hospital dealing with their physical pain. nbc's kate snow has their stories. kate joins me now. kate, good day to you. >> reporter: good day to you, alex. the families have now all been informed if they have lost their loved ones. so they have released a list of 12 people shot and killed. this morning, 24 people remain in the hospital, nine of them in critical condition. that includes one mother who lost her little girl on a trip to the movies. ♪ ♪ i once was lost but now i'm found ♪ >> she was so young, just six years old. >> a vibrant little girl bragging about learning how to swim. >> veronica was at the movies with her mom, who is still in the hospital paralyzed with a bullet still lodged in her neck. as of saturday, the family hadn't told the mother yet that
her only child is gone. gone too, 18-year-old a.j.boik, who wanted to be an art teacher. micayla medek was attending community college. rebecca wingo's friends loved her. >> i want people to remember her as an amazing mother that would sacrifice everything. >> jessica ghawi wanted to make it as a sportscast ter. john larimer served in the navy, jesse childress in the air force. john blunk dove on top of his girlfriend. so did matt mcquinn, shielded his date, samantha. >> they had the sfaparkle of lo in their eyes when they looked at each other.
jennifer avala says she was frozen in fear when her husband threw her on the ground. >> he saved my life. it makes me realize how much he loves me. >> in the theater next door to where the gunman was shooting, a group of kids in denver for a meeting of young people that stutter. a bullet had come through the wall and his gage henkins is happy to be here. >> life, it can be really short. you just have to live every day. ♪ >> reporter: memorials are now being planned by families of the deceased. also, tonight, alex, there will be a very large candlelight vigil here in aurora. one note, the mother of that 6-year-old girl we said in the piece as of saturday, she didn't know that her daughter had died. they did tell her late yesterday, a chaplain, a doctor and her own mother sat with her and told her that she had lost her 6-year-old. >> kate, we are both moms.
imagine being in that position, really fighting for your own life to recover? how does ashley moser do that with this knowledge? >> i don't know. i spoke to the great aunt. she said, they are struggling, it is awful. the mother is inconsolable. that mother has a bullet lodged in her own neck and is in critical condition, we believe. she knows what's happened. she is trying to come to terms with it. the mother had lost her own dad, the grandfather of that little girl, just eight weeks ago. this family has been through enormous tragedy over the past few months. >> well, god bless. kate snow, thank you very much. a quick program note. tonight's dateline, "tragedy in colorado" will have the latest on the investigation in aurora. it airs at 7:00, 6:00 central. as grieving loved ones take stalk amid the staggering body
count, the cold-bloodedness is resounding. james holmes is described by nearly everyone who crossed his path as quiet and unassuming until friday. peter rose, a writer for the tribune, thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> you write about james holmes, talked to a lot of people who knew him, background on his hometown in san diego. what is the impression you got about him as you and your staff dug around into his life? >> it almost sounds like a cliche. the people that live in ranc ranchopenrancho penoskitos couldn't believe he could grow up to do such a terrible thing. >> any clues that he could be
capable of such violence? >> we heard from a number of people in rancho penoskitos that he was a little odd. he was a brilliant student in the sciences and also some felt that he was lonely, that he was something of a loaner who didn't make friends easily. >> you know, there are reports that his mother, when first reached by reporters to confirm she was the mother of the alleged shooter, she said, yeah, you have got the right guy. do you think that is because she ew about issues that he may be dealing with emotionally or was it because they just said, is this your son and let's look factually at who this is? is there an indication from her that way, either way? >> we really don't know. there are some small clues when he came home from u.c. riverside with his degree, the degree in
neurosciences with highest honors, by the way. when he came home in 2010, his mother told a neighbor that he was having a hard time finding a job. we understand he was having a difficult time. when he went to the university of colorado, in that ph.d. program, again, he seemed to be having some troubles. he was withdrawing from his classes when this happened. >> you know, peter, when the description came out about him as being shy, a loner, that kind of thing, everybody in the "newsroom," we weren't surprised by that. as much as we would like to think that we know how to look at a profile in hindsight of a gunman like this, these attributes that you describe for him are for so many people the very same way you would describe others. are there warning signs in this or you just can't know? >> i'm not sure, because you are right. we have heard this before. we have heard it over and over
after some horrific event like this, he was shy. he was a loner. he was quiet. make too quiet. but, we also talk to people who said, look, he had friends. he was sociable. he went out to dinner with his friends in college. >> he liked karoke. >> his family is well-regarded, s solid members of the community. it breaks your heart to see this happen to this family. everyone's hearts are going out to the victims, the folks who were killed or who were wounded. their lives will never be the same. yet, tame, you look at this young man, who just goes off the deep end. it is such a mystery. it is such a tragedy in his life and his family's life too. >> well-said, peter row there
with the san diego tribune. other news, the new survey on what americans are talking about, what they say when the subject turns to politics. first, we have a programming note for all of you. we anticipating airing our regular office politics segment at this hour but as you might imagine, the tragic events in colorado changed those plans. we will run those office polity segment with our special guest, bravo's andy cohen on the weekend of august 11th. we invite you to watch at that time when we are all hopefully in better times. i got mine in iraq, 2003. usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection, and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans and their families is without equal. begin your legacy, get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve.
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editor for politics. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> when it comes to president obama, what did you find? >> we found that, as you might imagine, working with keller fay, market research group. together, we found that as the campaign has gone into attack/counter attack mode that conversations about the candidates are getting more negative. president obama, in particular, has kind of flipped in the first few weeks of our findings from net positive conversations to net negative. it is possible, we will be able to track things happening with the aurora shootings, that things may become more positive or people will be talking less. it gives us a bar am ter. >> how about check into mitt romney. how is that rating? >> well, he is -- his negatives have also gone up. although, he has been a little bit static for the past couple of weeks. the interesting thing is, there is still more negative
conversation about him than there is about president obama. so it looks like he has some work to do in terms of getting some positive chatter going. >> do you have any indication how quickly the tone can change in these conversations? >> well, i think that that's one of the things we are going to be tracking. you know, it may be that people will both mitt romney and president obama have responded very we very well to these shootings in the way you would hope national leaders would. we will have a week when mitt romney is overseas. you may see that people are thinking more highly of him because he is meeting with foreign leaders. we will be able to track this as it happens, which is a wonderful thing about this survey. >> for you, me, others, in the news business, this is what we care about. for the average american, the election of president obama actually fell pretty low on the list of what people are talking about. this is what we are getting from the survey. what did you find? >> well, we found that when you look at discrete subjects, that diet and nutrition and exercise
comes in really high. it is about a third. on the other hand, if you kind of look at the aggregate of people that are talking about president obama and the campaign, it is about the same amount. if you look at the range of subjects that people are talking about, about a quarter of people are talking about things like gas prices, jobs, health care, things that are actually issues in the campaign. so it is pretty interesting. although, at the top, we still have diet, vacation, shopping, that sort of thing. >> here is one thing that really interested me. i am pleased by it, was the mode of conversations about the election, despite this age of constant e-mailing, texting and all of that. people actually talk face to face most of all. >> that is a really interesting thing, especially to people in washington, because we do so much of our political communication on line with social media or in e-mails. more than three-quarters of these conversations about
candidates and campaign took place in person, face to face. when you look at social media, e-mail, that kind of thing, low single digits. then, there was phone conversations, about 11%. it is a completely different picture than what you might get if you are looking at facebook. >> i have to say, i'm looking at my blackberry. i have tried to text and send stuff, forget it, i'm just going to call you. here we go. you can't. these are in-depth conversations. i am glad people are having them face to face. i enjoyed ours, thank you so much, jill lawrence is michael jackson's mother okay? the latest turn in the jackson family drama. phillips' caplets use magnesium, an ingredient that works more naturally with your colon than stimulant laxatives, for effective relief of constipation without cramps. thanks. good morning, students. today we're gonna continue... who learned to fly. not with wings or a jet pack, but with her new dell laptop and a little ingenuity, too. ♪
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what's going on here? >> we just got word from the l.a. county authorities who are now saying that they believe that katherine jackson is safe with family members somewhere in arizona. not a lot of details. that's just in. that seems to settle the mystery for now. this all started to unfold saturday night when a nephew of katherine jackson reported her missing to authorities, filed a missing person's report. he said that he and her children and others had not heard from her for about a week and they were concerned about her safety. it got all complicated and confused as things do with the jackson family, because it is hard to know exactly what's going on. there were a couple of tweets that were sent out as well. one by michael jackson's daughter, paris. it said in part, yes, my grandmother is missing. i haven't spoken with her in a week and i want her home now. there had also been a tweet by jermaine jackson saying, i want to reassure everywhere including all sudden medical experts that
mother is fine but is resting up in arizona on the orders of a doctor, not us. so back and forth tweets, a lot of conflicting information. we heard from a lawyer who said she represents katherine jackson. her response didn't clarify things at all. we are just hearing now the authorities in the l.a. county are saying they believe she is safe with family members in arizona. clearly, there are different camps in the family, a dispute about michael jackson's estate and about katherine jackson's finances and advisers. frankly, a lot of drama with the family. the bottom line appears to be he sh is sahe is safe in arizona. everybody in the family doesn't know what's going on. >> a lot more creds were given to the story when paris did tweet she hadn't seen her grandmother for a week and knowing that katherine jackson is still the primary legal custodian of michael jackson's kids, correct? >> indeed, she is. remember, we are basing this on a tweet by a 14-year-old.
perhaps there is something to be learned about that. the bottom line seems to be according to the l.a. county authorities, she is fine in arizona. it is unclear why she is there. we think she may have gone to attend a concert tour by some of the jackson brothers. there was word she hadn't been at the concert. there were some questions about her health. reports that she was in bad health. we don't know the extent of that. what we can confirm in all this is that the authorities are saying she is safe with family in arizona. >> okay. we will leave it for now. what to expect at the first court appearance for james holmes. also, the report about why the number of casualties in the colorado theater shooting might have been much higher. why should our wallets tell us what our favorite color is?
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it's yes food. the faces of a tranlg i.d. the identity of those killed in the colorado movie mass kerr now revealed. their stories so moving and heartbreaking now coming to light. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." it is 1:00 in the east, 11:00 in awe aurora, colorado. >> president obama will leave washington for colorado shortly and meet with families of the victims. the trip includes meetings with local officials. james holmes will appear in court tomorrow for the first time. the sheriff says he is isolated from other inmates. reports suggest he is refusing to talk with police. the fbi detonated explosives they have collected from his apartment in the outskirts of town. today, the crews remain at the apartment hunting for more
evidence. nbc kristin dahlgren outside the apartment and chris jansing outside the theater. we will go first to you, kristen, with the latest on what's going on outside the apartment. what are you seeing? >> reporter: not a whole lot of police activity here today. the investigation really focusing on the things that were taken out of this apartment as they disarmed those boobytraps yesterday. with holmes not talking, the evidence could come down to that. that is his apartment on the third floor. you could see the windows still broken out. that gives you some sense of the delicate operation going on here. they needed to break those windows to get a camera inside to see what they were dealing with and to put in that robotic device that ended up disarming the boobytraps. a waist-high trip wire across the front door was clearly set
to try to injure anyone that went into the apartment and 30 impromized grenades and three jugs of some type of improvised napaum. they took the rest to a site where they buried it and were able to set those off and disarm them as well. they were able to take a laptop commuter and a hard drive. today, we are also learning that the university of colorado is involved in the investigation, trying to determine whether holmes used his position as a graduate student in order to order some of the materials that he allegedly used to set those boobytraps and they are looking into at least four shipments that he received both at school and here at this apartment. so the investigation is continuing today, alex. >> that does make sense. he was with the science-related department there. interesting development. thank you for that, kristen dahlgren. we heard new information from aurora police.
police dan oates describes how they identified james holmes as a suspect and not a s.w.a.t. officer even though he wore ballistic gear. >> there was one particular piece of equipment he had on him that was out of place. i am so proud of my officers that they spotted that right away and challenged him. i can't tell you. in that chaos, it is quite reasonable that an officer might have confused him for a s.w.a.t. officer or a heavily armed officer who was responding to the scene. kudos to my two cops who grabbed this guy and that sharp observation that they made immediately to suspect him as being a suspect. a memorial and prayer vigil is planned for tonight. we are learning more about the victims and the loved ones they left behind. nbc's chris jansing is live for us near the theater in aurora where she has been for the last couple of days. another good day to you.
>> good day to you, alex. this is a day for healing for this community that has been understandably so shaken by the horrors of what happened in the theater behind me. i can tell you, though, that this is a community that is coming together. we hear again how record numbers of people have been calling local hospitals offering to donate blood. we hear from the family members of the victims who says that they have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, not just of this community but around the country and around the world. just a few minutes ago, i walked across the street. there is a makeshift memorial that is sprung up. i have to tell you, i was deeply moved by the sight of a young family coming up to pay their respect, bringing flowers and a small stuffed animal, a mother, a father and three young children. the oldest of those children, six years old just like the yuck youngest of the victims, veronica moser. the people i spoke with there said that somehow they felt
compelled. they waned to do something. they wanted to pay their respects. we want to pay our respects as well as we see these moving pictures of all of the victims who have been lost there. there are memorials to each of them as i walked across the street. there are eight men who died in the theater. four women. the oldest was 51, the youngest, six. three of the men we have confirmed died while they were saving their girlfriends' lives. i saw a memorial across the street to jessica ghawi, the aspiring sportscaster just 24 years old. there was one to jonathan blunk, to alex sullivan who celebrated his birthday. there was a large birthday card there. to petty officer third class john larimer, who was in the navy. someone had left their sailor's hat there. this is a day when people want to remember those who were lost. i asked several of the people
who had come to the memorial across the street, how they felt about the president coming here. they said they thought it cob an important first step toward healing and that all of them felt the support throughout this country, which is something, alex, we have seen in the past that the u.s. does remarkably well, how people respond in times of tragedy. they all said to me, to a person, that they want to believe, that something good will come of this moving forward, echoing the feelings of what we have heard from some of the victims' family members, alex. >> how about those still hospitalized, chris? any updates on those people? >> the latest number that we have is that there are 24 still hospitalized, nine of them are critical. we did get some very sad news today from the mayor who said that in visiting the hospitals, it has become clear to him that there are among those who are critically wounded, some who may not survive who are still considered to be suffering from life-threatening injuries. so that's something we are keeping our eye on as well,
alex. >> bad news. we don't want to have a further body count. interestingly, there are reports that this could have been worse. where is that angle coming from? >> reporter: we heard that yesterday in the extensive press conference from the governor. he said that. maybe the reason why is this "associated press" report we have got earlier today. we have not been able to confirm it. they talked to a law enforcement official who said that at some point, the gun jammed, that semi-automatic rifle that the suspect had, had a 100 magazine clip in it. it was capable of firing 50 to 60 rounds per minute. if that did, indeed, jam, which was obviously the most destructive weapon he had on him, he did, as you know, he carried two other weapons, had a fourth glock in the car. they apparently all had been fired. if, indeed, that semi-automatic
was, indeed, unable to fire anymore, that could have saved lives, alex. >> all right, chris jansing, thanks so much. we will let you go and prepare for your own broadcast coming up. special live coverage from aurora beginning at 3:00 eastern here on msnbc from chris jansing. new reports out today, the shooting could have been much worse but for that malfunction on james holmes weapon. they sfoek with a federal agent that said his semi-automatic rifle jammed during the massacre. he was armed with a 100-round drum magazine capable of shooting 50-60 rounds per minute. we spoke with the f bchl i. th they have refused to comment on that angle of the store. bill bratton, former head of the los angeles, new york city and boston police departments, talked about the difficulty of stopping a lone gunman. >> for the longest time now, we have been concerned with the incident that just happened,
that a single individual who operates below the radar, most difficult to detect, whether inspired by terrorism or whatever inspiration caused this young man to take so many lives. it remains the most difficult one to try and deal with. >> joining me is michael tamaski, news week daily beast special correspondent looking at the highly political role of guns in america. fascinating article. so glad you could join us to talk about it. we just heard bill bratton talking about the difficulty of stopping the mentally unstable, the lone gunman. is that the issue, mental health, or is it just availability of guns? >> i think it is the availability of guns primarily. we don't know about the mental health of this young man. obviously, something wasn't right in there. we don't really know about that yet. in the case of the tucson, arizona shooting, of jared lee
loughner, he did certainly have record of mental issues but he also was able to get guns. these are state laws that vary a bit from arizona to colorado, from state to state. it is supposed to be illegal for mentally unstable people to get guns but those kinds of laws are very easily circumvented, gotten around. the problem is the access ability. >> in your article, michael, you begin by saying that there is no collective will in this country to prevent another tragedy like this from happening again. you say this on the heels of what happened this morning when you talked about, we heard, governor hickenlooper, bill bratton we just heard from, representative, carol mccarthy. they are all talking about why we need to have some element of gun control. explain this mentality. >> it is very simple. both parties are afraid of the national rifle association. the republican party, i wouldn't say afraid. the republican party more or lessen dor less endorses all the position. the democratic party is afraid
of the national rifle association. i am sure your viewers saw in romney's statement and president obama's statement, no mention of the word gun. no suggestion that we should now be discussing the question of the availability of these guns at all. >> no mention but had either of them put something in there and said, something has to change, people are dying, what would the reaction have been? >> you know, there would have been a lot of supportive reaction. i think there is no question about that. i think your average person sort of feels that this is a big problem and that something needs to be done about it. but the opinions of average people don't really measure up to the power, the lobbying power, the muscle of the national rifle association. >> did all that come since the early '90s since we had the legislation of the assault ban? is that what has changed in these 20 plus years? >> i think that is right.
in 1994, the early '90s, there was more willingness to have this conversation after these kinds of incidents and there was the assault weapon ban that you referenced. in more recent years, the nra has just gotten much stronger as a lobby. one thing that it has done very successfully, you do have to give them credit, they have defeated in primaries and in general elections, incumbents who dared to take them on. they have zeroed those people and said, we are going to take you out. they have. other politicians, of course, noticed that. they say, forget it. i am not going to take those guys on. >> is that why you see democrats who we traditionally think of as being pro gun control? is that why they have been afraid to take a stand, afraid of getting wiped out by the nra and their money and power? >> chiefly. urban democrats, from cities where the issue is handgun
violence and there aren't a lot of gun owners or in some cases, no gun cases. the nra isn't a factor in their districts. there are enough democrats in the house from districts and in the senate from states where there are a lot of gun owners and they are just not going to take on the nra and a national democrat like obama isn't going to take on the nra either. >> okay. i want to read a statement from the nra. i am going to read it off the screen. our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the community. nri will not have any further comment until all the facts are known. >> is there any indication that tougher gun laws would have prevented this massacre? holmes had an assault rifle. we are hearing it jammed. he used three other weapons, a shotgun and two handguns. >> you can never answer that definitively about any of these particular cases. that's what makes it a little bit frustrating.
it is a counter factual that didn't happen. you cat really say for sure. you can say for sure if, for example, the gun show loophole were closed, that's a place where i think studies have shown that people who might have trouble getting a gun through the regular processes at a regular gun store go to buy guns there. incidentally, there was a poll in 2009, 69% of nra members support closing that gun show loophole. the nra as an organization won't do it. >> interesting. michael tomassky, always a pleasure to read your work and speak with you. >> thank you. a closer look at how james holming assembled that arsenal for mass murder. we will continue to remember the victims of the tragedy in colorado. ♪
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tragic to see those lost as a result of that gunman and the suspect in the colorado killings will appear in court for the first time tomorrow. for a bit more on the legal process ahead for james holmes, i am joined by former prosecutor and defense attorney, karen desoto. thank you for getting here. we appreciate that. forensic teams have finished processing the crime scene. now, we get the defense team to come on in.
talk about the difference in the way these two teams approach things. >> it is totally different but they are all looking at the same forensics. you have eyewitness tem, 12 people, a lot of concentration right now on his mental state and his mental illness. there will be a lot of investigations, family background, a lot of experts interviewing him, information correlated to his computer, what sites, any information that will give you any kind of intelligence on what he was thinking. >> you know what i'm always curious about in a situation like this, should we continue to use the word alleged? because it is not a question as to whether or not he was the triggerman. >> right. well, legally, we use alleged because until you are found guilty in a court of law, obviously, that's the final determination. so, obviously, you have all of these witness accounts. you are right. so we know that this was the person. i don't know what kind of admissions he has made. obviously, if you have those admissions an he is saying he was the person that did it, you are right, you can drop the
alleged. >> kind of curious about that. so the defense has access to the theater tomorrow. what can they look for that will help them in their case? when you see places where bodies have fallen, i would presume still blood stains? >> right. >> holes are from bullets in the walls, how do they look at that evidence and look at it in a defense manner? >> well, because now you are looking for really in a case like this, what are you trying to do, get it down from -- your trying to prove they were guilty because they were insane, premedication and what was their thought process. you are looking for any indication that maybe he, you know, any information correlated to his mental state, which you are not going to have at that stage. at that point, really, the information is not going to be correlated to his defense. >> all this talk about the defense potentially using insanity as their defense, is that their only option? >> no. i mean, they could just plead guilty but not a lot of people do that.
obviously, because colorado is a death penalty case. there are three people in colorado on death row right now. >> next question to you. what is the likelihood they will seek the death penalty? how do you decide? >> of course. this is a horrific tragedy. >> this is open and shut and you go for the death penalty. >> of course you go for the death penalty. >> a lot of people say, he was in school. this is a person that was bright. there is no education. the human mind doesn't stop growing until you are about 25. if you are schizophrenic or paranoid schizophrenic , that couldn't dom up until your late 20s. "a beautiful mind." that didn't happen until he was in his ph.d. program and won the nobel prize. are there red flags? absolutely. the fact that he got an "f" and had withdrawn from his class, very big red flag.
>> that was a pivotal moment where he loses it. >> okay. >> how does one use a defense -- the insanity defense when they have taken a few months to put together an arsenal. you will be able to trace the shipping and charges. you will be able to prove there was a level of calculation. i want to get these guns. i want to get this arsenal and compile something that was massive on that front. how does that fall under the insanity defense? >> i will tell you how that falls upped. f for years, we have been talking about the guilty insanity defense. unless they are drooling and hearing voices, they are probably not going to win on the guilty insanity defense. that doesn't just happen once. in a case like john nash, you hear voices. that happens for months. you have lots of realities. it could have been happening over one year, two years. you don't know about it, because they are not going to tell you until there are little red flags. somebody who is a ph.d. candidate used to getting straight as, if your son called
you and said, listen, i'm dropping out of harvard, you would be on the next plane. for somebody as advanced and intelligent as he is, maybe they be more slight. getting an "f" may not be a big deal for somebody else but for somebody who is that bright, that's a red flag. most moms would be sitting them down saying, something is wrong. >> karen desoto, always interesting to talk to you. thank you so much. we are going to pause right here and come back with some of the other day's headlines, which includes two major developments at penn state. the legacy of a one reverred joe pa and his storied football program. here on "weekends with alex witt." ed capital one venture miles for a golf getaway. double miles you can actually use... but mr. single miles can't join his friends because he's getting hit with blackouts. shame on you. now he's stuck in a miniature nightmare. oh, thank you. but, with the capital one venture card... you can fly any airline, any flight, any time.
throughout our entire lives. ♪ one a day women's 50+ is a complete multi-vitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. ♪ it has more of seven antioxidants to support cell health. that's one a day women's 50+ healthy advantage. the colorado shootings has prompted theaters to step up security. millionses did go to movies unwilling to less one senseless
act keep them home. they are thinking a lot about what happened in colorado while seeing "the dark knight rises." >> i don't think it should scare people off from going pot movies. >> this is kind of an american spirit thirng. this is our way of pushing through the tragedy. >> many theaters banned masks and costumes and others searched bags. box office tallies tore "the dark knight rises" tallies will go unknown this weekend. universal, disney and fox joined warner brothers in withholding their earnings reports out of respect for the victims of the shooting in aurora and their families. we will go back to aurora, colorado in a few minutes. a few other stories. penn state took down the statue of the late joe paterno outside the stadium. the president called the statue a source of division and said it would be a recurring wound to
abuse victims everywhere. the paterno name will remain on the campus library. on the heels of that, they announced that penn state will face sanctions. they will be spelled out in a news conference tomorrow. no details about punitive action have been released. the president said he would not rule out the possibility of shutting down the school's football program. overseas, a wreath laying and church service in norway marked the first anniversary of a massacre that left 77 dead, a bombing in oslow and a shooting rampage at a youth camp in a traditional papal blessing, the pope prays for summer olympics. they begin friday. the fund-raiser for the harassed school bus monitor has ended and the final tally is a whopping $703,000. some of the money will go towards fundraising cost. she will get more than $654,000. good for her.
those are your fast five headlines the big three is back with their take on mitt romney's upcoming trip overseas. up next, inside information about the apartment of the alleged colorado gunman, what's been found and what will investigators still be looking for. i've been coloring liz's hair for years. but lately she's been coming in with less gray than usual. what's she up to? [ female announcer ] root touch-up by nice'n easy has the most shade choices, designed to match even salon color in just 10 minutes. with root touch-up, all they see is you. designed to match even salon color in just 10 minutes. stayfocus lolo, focus.ya. let's do this. i am from baltimore. south carolina... bloomington, california... austin, texas... we are all here to represent the country we love. this is for everyone back home.
receiving material in the mail over months and officials say he also acted alone. holmes will appear in court tomorrow. president obama will offer his condolences today to the families that lost their lives in the attacks. he arrives in aurora a bit later on before heading to san francisco. we are learning more about those that did not survive the theater attack. they released the names of all 12 of the dead after informing the families. the youngest victim, a 6-year-old girl. a memorial service is scheduled this ing for the community. authorities in the city say they are still searching for more clues after clearing the apartment of boobytraps. ryan, what have you learned about what officials have found in the apartment? >> reporter: well, they haven't told us a whole lot so far. we know they found quite a few explosives that could have been set off, trip wires as well. residents are not going to be allowed back in today.
they were originally told they would. officers are telling me it is just too dangerous. they are still afraid there cob a combination of chemicals that could mix somehow, gases, things of that nature that could be released. they don't want to take any chances. they don't know what else might have been boobytrapped around. a few other windows have been broken out. i have heard they want to get a better view in case he boobytrapped any other doors or anything of that nature. >> your latest article, you talked to a student that lives in that building, a guy who often encountered james holmes. what did he say about him? >> it is wa really interesting. he said that he was nothing special when it came to how he dressed, what he looked like. i asked, did he wear all black? did he ever die his hair or wear anything that made him look different? he did note when he talked to
him or tried to exchange pleasantries, holmes would ignore him. he never acknowledged him. >> that does give you a heads up there to something. your article also talks about police who are trying to retrieve personal items for all the residents that had to evacuate the apartment in the middle of the night. what are you hearing about them being allowed to return home? you said you are not sure about later today or that has been announced? >> it has not been announced. i was told this morning when i first got down here today it is probably very unlikely. what police are doing, is that they will go inside and get necessary items, laptops, phones, clothing i, things of tt nature. as far as dmitry goes, the gentlemen i spoke with, he needed his laptops and medical books and passport and cell phone. they got all those things for him. he was quite happy. he was worried he wasn't going to have them. >> absolutely.
ryan, as i look at the clock, i think it was almost exactly 24 hours ago we were watching the scene there literally with bated breath. we were watching these incremental movements as the police went in with the fbi and they put off an explosion in there. there was some sort of detonation. it didn't result in fire but it was successful which allowed them to get in there later and clear the place out. how much has the situation changed from yesterday to today when people were kept at such a distance. >> honestly, i wasn't down here yesterday. a different reporter for the denver post was covering it. i know the distances decreased by quite a bit. i mean, we are standing right outside the apartment now. we are pretty much right up near the grass, right where you can walk up the stairs into the entrance. so i would have to assume that if they thought if there was any immediate danger, we wouldn't be allowed to be as close as we are. people are starting to gather, trying to get a look in, trying to get a look in up through the window to see what's going on. you can clearly see there is a large book case in his bedroom
with no books on it. who knows, who knows what materials might have been on there. >> are there a lot of people gathering to see the scene? >> reporter: there are more and more coming down here. i spoke to eye gentlema gentlems in the building next door and he was woken up at night to tell to leave immediate by because they were afraid there was a bomb. he didn't know about the theater shooting at the time. he was bowoken up in the middlef the night. >> ryan parker, denver post, thank he very much. a new response from an online company that sold some of the gear. cat five commerce of chesterfield, missouri, confirms that james holmes bought supplies, including pouches designed to hold multiple ammo clips, a tactical assault vest and knife. the company's ceo says he and
his coworkers were horrified at their connection to the mas massacre. >> we were all shocked and appalled that he would have used our gear for those purposes. it was a startling discoveredry to say the least. >> the company also issued a station saying it primarily serves members of the armed services and law enforcement and that their thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families a bit over an hour from now, president obama leaves d.c. for aurora, colorado, touching down to meet with vibctims, family members and first responders. mike is live at the white house. >> hi, alex. >> when does the president expect to leave and what time will he touch down? >> within the hour, he is going to leave. this was laid on at the last minute. we learned overnight that the president would be making this trip, alex.
if you look at it, the schedule the president had laid out over the course of the next upcoming days, it is logical from a political and logistical standpoint. he has a five-state swing. that was to begin tomorrow. he is going to be in nevada, california, oregon, washington and raising money in louisiana as well. i think from a political standpoint, from a perspective standpoint, certainly, if you want to look at it that way, and certainly there are definitely more angles from which to look at it, he couldn't very well go out there, get back out on the stump, keep doing the things he is doing, speaking for boisterous crowds in an inherently partisan atmosphere without first going out to awe rho a aurora. we don't expect to see a lot of the president. he is taking a very small contingent, a small press pool. everyone is familiar with that term by now. he is not taking the full white house press core.
he doesn't want to leave a big footprint. he doesn't want to attend the memorial service later today. he would take attention away from that and it would be a big security nightmare. a relatively private visit that the president is going to have with some of the families and the victims of this horrific shooting later today. open question whether we hear from him on camera or not. >> sounds like he is going as president of the united states as well as a father and concerned citizen. thank you very much. one of the doctors that helped treat the injured immediately after the shooting is talking about the difficult situation she confronted. case snow talked to dr. camilla sasin who was on duty early friday morning at the university of colorado hospital. >> i have seen car crashes and horrible things in the emergency department before. i have seen young people dying almost on a daily basis. i think what's different about this is just how many people. that's when it kind of starts hitting you, just how sick these
people were and how tragic, i think it is. >> how many lives you saved? >> yeah. that's why we become doctors, is to save lives. >> reporter: the accused shooter is due in court on monday? >> uh-huh. >> reporter: is there anything you would want to say to him? >> how does somebody do this? i just don't understand it. >> those tears are understandable as dr. sassin saw every one of the 23 patients taken to the university of colorado hospital? next, with the big three, it worked like a charm for barack obama campaigning for president four years ago but will this week's overseas' trip benefit mitt romney's presidential run? you are watching weekends with alex witt. it's just too hard." then there was a moment. when i decided to find a way to keep going.
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mitt romney overseas and must-reads. joining me is erin mcpike. doug hadaway, and robert trainem. hello to the three of you. doug, robert, you guys look like you are matching there with the red ties. how did that happen considering? erin, i will begin with you as we talk about congressman, carolyn mccarthy, whose husband was killed, son wounded in the long island railroad shooting. sh she was on "meet the press" this morning and talked about the lone gunmen that came along far too often. >> there is one thing they all have in common. they had a gun with large magazines. so they could take down as many people. the police responded in 90 seconds. yet he was able to take down 70 people.
>> pretty powerful argument there, are we going to see another assault weapons ban on the house floor like we did back in '94? >> i don't think so. i have been stunned as some of the conventional wisdom coming out in washington very different from what the congressman said on "meet the press." they said, don't expect any gun control laws to change. i think we will hear a lot more on that than this is a time for gun control. people are focusing on the psychological aspects rather than gun control. >> gun control is one thing but assault weapons ban, can't those two things be separated? >> you would think so. if you look at the polls, most people who own guns believe, one, that with the right to own a gun, comes responsibility to keep military assault weapons out of the hands of criminals. most of them support the assault weapons bans and measures to do. the federal law that banned assault weapons would have affected the gun that was used in this shooting.
the law died in the nra and its supporters will not let it come back. >> doug, it makes sense but why won't president obama take a stance on gun control? isn't that a fairly unanimous position among his base? >> yeah. i think he has been pretty clear on that. the problem here is not president obama. it is the nra who takes such an extreme position on these issues. their supporters in congress who follow them and will not work any compromise. they will not pass any measure, even measures supported by most gun owners to address issues like this. >> robert, what is the republicans argument against a limited gun bill outlawing large magazines, assault rifles, things like that? >> i am not a spokesperson for the nra or republican party. most republicans would say, this is not really, to erin's original point, this is not about gun control but more about the individual and the psychological aspects about this. we have about 250 million guns that we know that are registered here in the united states and less than 1%, less than .01% of
the actual crimes are done by guns and it is more about the individual that may have some psychological deficiencies. it is not necessarily about the gun control but more about the individual. >> back to what i was saying that doug answered. can't there be a distinguishing line drawn between gun control in general and a practical approach to assault weapons and huge magazines and things like that? who really needs that, robert? >> i don't disagree with you. i think most people in this country when you ask them about reasonable gun control, whether it is gun locks, whether it is assault weapons ban. most people would say, of course, you do not need an assault weapons ban to go hunting. of course you do not need these magazines designed to kill as many people as possible. i don't know the answer to that question. i think the majority of people out there would say that reasonable gun control is a common sense solution. >> you look at what the president has done. he has jumped in on gay marriage and immigration. right now, the timing of this,
could he not jump in on gun control or assault weapons' bans in furthering that, something like that on the heels of this tragedy and use it to his political leverage? >> i don't know that he would use it to political leverage. i know when it comes to people voting on gun issues, most of that energy is actually on the side of the nra. most people don't want anything done about this sort of thing. that said, i could see him making a statement like that. i think his record is clear he supports common sense gun safety. like we were just talking about, most americans an gun owners support that. while i don't see him trying to make political hay out of it, i think that is the political rally and that people would support it. >> can i answer that very quickly? >> i hate to put this in political terms. colorado has some of the most loose gun control laws on the books and also virginia. guess what? the president needs colorado and
virgin virginia mathematically. i don't think he is politically able to have this conversation when he must have the independent voter and the moderate democrat that lives in colorado and virginia. quickly as we want to begin with you, robert. romney will immediate the liters of uk, its real and poland. what's the strategy? >> to alleviate any concerns the independent voter out there,'s not presidential and not able to lead on the point of the world stage, if you will. he will not win any votes here. that's not the objective. the object sieve to make sure he looks presidential and he's able to speak from a very authoritative voice and say listen, i spoke to president binyamin netanyahu and x, y and z when he has a foreign political debate with president obama in the fall. >> you remember, glorious reception there. you hea
does that sentiment stand about the president? >> i think so. his foreign policy record and national security record are unassailable. starting with getting osama bin laden, restored americans' leadership in the world that was badly damaged by the previous administration. i think that mitt romney probably gets halo effect going to the olympics. i think it is going to be hard to get the kind of star power you saw barack obama get when he was running for president. >> do you think mitt romney can chip away at president obama on foreign policy? that has been a strong suit of this white house. >> that's exactly right. i think a big part of this trip is just showing that mitt romney is thinking about foreign policy at all because he hasn't talked about it throughout the duration of his campaign. he has to focus on it somewhat if he's going to be president at some point. >> sit tight. coming up next, we have the must reads. [ annie ] this is the story of annie,
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must reads. ladies first with you, erin. what's your must feed for this weekend? >> a great story in "the new york times" this morning nate silver. sxols whether or not they break for the challenger and in this case mitt romney, or incumbent, president obama. and usually the thug goes that they break towards the challenger, undecided voters. he saying it may break towards the incumbent. >> that's interesting. okay. what bur must read? >> i would recommend people check out a piece by james zogby on huffington post. the challenge facing the republican party now to stand up against the mccarthyism rearing its head by politicians like michele bachmann trying to start witch hunts against americans that are muslims. if you talk to people intelligence and military and law enforcement, who are responsible for fight, terrorism, they will tell you the most effective way to do that is to follow evidence. it is not to cook up paranoid conspiracy theories and i will have tie the whole group of americans.
we are all on the same team. we are all americans and we have to stick together in the fight against terrorism. that's what you keep the country safe. >> that's ball the hoopla regarding former new york congressman anthony weiner's wife who is muss and who is a top aide to hillary clinton. a quick comment on that. >> very quickly, i totally agree with you and totally agree with doug and everyone else. that it is a very interesting article and in respect to making sure we keep all the hate out of politics. making sure that's paul about poll. >> i okay. let's get to your must read. >> fund-raiser in chief. ironically four years ago, some of the events obama was out raising john mccain two to one and thousand tables have turned fast forward to today where mitt romney is literally breaking the fund-raising records out there and also very quickly, the obama campaign very specifically said that small donors under $250 were going towards the president. and that seems to have changed after the supreme court ruling on health care. now individuals, small donors, republican side, are giving to
mitt romney in droves. this will be a very interesting election. >> many thanks for that. that concludes this edition of "weekends with alex witt." up next "meet the press" with the focus on the tragedy in colorado. according to ford, the works fuel saver package could literally pay for itself. jim twitchel is this true? yes it's true. how is this possible? proper tire inflation, by using proper grades of oil, your car runs more efficiently, saves gas. you could be doing this right now? yes i could, mike. i'm slowing you down? yes you are. my bad. the works fuel saver package. just $29.95 or less after rebate. only at your ford dealer. so, to sum up, you take care of that, you take care of these, you save a bunch of this. that works.